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I am a Chartered Accountant from India who is soon to move to Sydney and will be looking for mid-senior level positions in management accounting. My employer would most likely be a large business, mostly a household name.

In India, recruiters do not play a role beyond finding an interested candidate and coordinating between the employer and the prospective employees for interview dates. One generally does not meet a recruiter.

My experience, on the other side of the table, while hiring in India is that the recruiter emails you a dozen resumes at a time after having ascertained the candidates interest in the opening over a very shot call. Recruiters do not filter resumes for quality or credibility expect for a very broad match making assessment.

Reckon the profile of recruiter in Sydney is fairly expansive.

For an interview (with the employer), I would wear noting less than a 2 piece business suit with a tie.

In case one were to meet a recruiter in Sydney, how should one dress - same as one would while going for an interview (business suit with a tie) or would a business shirt and trousers suffice (+/- tie).

Is more casual dressing acceptable (full sleeve business shirt and jeans)?

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Recruiters (when used) are essentially the doorway to the interview process. It's your first chance to make an impression - and the person you're making an impression on may have contacts and relationships with a wide range of potential employers. Yes - sometimes recruiters are just resume-spammers, but you really don't want to miss out on the opportunity to work with a well-connected recruiter.

In that context, to answer your question, the best general rule is to err on the side of more formal rather than less. To put it another way: it's generally better to be slightly over-dressed rather than slightly under-dressed.

When I'm trying to make an impression on someone - in a business meeting, or a recruiter, or whatever - my general approach is to determine the level of dress they'll be wearing, and then go one step more formal.

  • If I think they'll be in jeans and a polo, I wear slacks and a dress shirt.
  • If they'll be in slacks and a dress shirt, I also wear a jacket and maybe a tie.
  • If they've got a jacket, I'll definitely have a tie.
  • If they have a jacket and tie, I'm in a formal suit.
  • And so on...

This way, you're generally in the right ballpark, you're showing some respect for the meeting, and you're not outrageously over-dressed.

If you're not sure what the other person will be wearing, determine the norm in your business culture. In America for instance, it's common for most workplaces to be "business casual" which implies slacks and a dress shirt (but usually no tie or jacket) - so, I'll bring a jacket and tie.

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The recruiter is employed by the company as a filter to exclude weak candidates. You want to make the same impression on the recruiter as on the employer.

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